Juan Toscano

Warriors' Juan Toscano-Anderson makes fun of 49ers fans while mic'd up

Warriors' Juan Toscano-Anderson makes fun of 49ers fans while mic'd up

Juan Toscano-Anderson is in his second season playing for the Santa Cruz Warriors.

He was mic'd up during a recent practice in Surf City, and had a lot to say about the two NFL teams in the Bay Area.

"I'm a Raider fan, so I learn to bet with my mind and not with my heart," he explained. "Because those guys let me down every Sunday. Being a Raider fan is like being in a toxic relationship. But you know what -- I'm still going to root for them.

"Being a Niner fan is the worst thing on planet Earth. I feel bad for anybody who's a Niners fan."

The Golden State Warriors' organization loves Toscano-Anderson.

The 26-year-old -- who grew up in Oakland rooting for the Dubs -- not only suited up for the Warriors' 2019 Summer League squad, but he was with Golden State during training camp a couple of months ago, and appeared in five preseason games.

In 16 minutes against the Lakers on Oct. 16, the 6-foot-6 forward showed off his terrific defensive skills by recording two steals and three blocks.

Through 19 G League games this season, Toscano-Anderson is averaging 12.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals, while shooting 49 percent from the field.

He's extremely versatile and will dunk on you.

[RELATED: Dubs' Smailagic named All NBA G League Showcase First Team]

Be sure to check out the video above to hear everything the Castro Valley High School graduate had to say.

You also can watch Toscano-Anderson and the Sea Dubs take on the Texas Legends on Sunday night at 6:00 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area, and streaming live on the My Teams app.

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Warriors waive three players as regular-season roster starts taking shape

Warriors waive three players as regular-season roster starts taking shape

The Warriors’ regular-season roster is beginning to take shape.

Golden State announced on Saturday morning that they waived Andrew Harrison, Kavion Pippen, and Juan Toscano-Anderson.

The NBA preseason came to a close Friday night for the Warriors at Chase Center, as they beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 124-103. Golden State avenged three losses earlier in the preseason to LeBron James and the Lakers.

Harrison was signed to a training camp deal in early September, and he was on his fifth NBA team in just three seasons.

Pippen was brought in for depth after the Warriors’ frontcourt was plagued with injuries, and he scored 2.5 points per game in four preseason appearances with Golden State. Pippen is the nephew of NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen.

Toscano-Anderson is an Oakland native who has had quite a basketball odyssey, playing several professional seasons in Mexico before spending most of last season with the Santa Cruz Warriors in the G League.

[RELATED: How Robinson is relishing shot at rejuvenation with Dubs]

This brings the Warriors roster down to 14, with Damion Lee and Ky Bowman filling the team’s two two-way contract spots.

The regular season opens up for the Warriors and Chase Center on Thursday when Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers come to town.

Oakland's Juan Toscano aims to inspire in push to make Warriors roster

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USATSI

Oakland's Juan Toscano aims to inspire in push to make Warriors roster

SAN FRANCISCO -- Warriors training camp invitee Juan Toscano walked along a white backdrop inside Golden State's practice facility during Monday's media day just like any other player. Like his new teammates, Toscano participated in a series of poses and mock dunks as photographers snapped photos. Towards the end of his session, a team staffer handed Toscano a Mexican flag, giving a special symbolism to the occasion. 

Toscano currently is one of two players of Mexican descent in NBA training camps this fall. An East Oakland native, many of Golden State's best and worst moments happened within walking distance of his immigrant grandfather's home.

Now, after an impressive career in Latin America, the 26-year-old is looking to make good on his NBA dream. 

"I was really nervous. I ain't going to lie," he admitted. "It felt surreal, just ... being in this gym, being in these facilities, seeing all these banners up."

The number 95 that rested underneath Toscano's Mexican flag Monday holds a special meaning for the forward. Four decades ago, Toscano's grandfather immigrated from Michoacán and bought a house on 95th and A Street, tucked in the heart of East Oakland's Elmhurst neighborhood.

Though mixed with African descent, he visited Mexico once when he was six, celebrated Mexican holidays and regularly spoke Spanish growing up. However, in a predominantly African-American neighborhood, Toscano lived a double life of sorts. 

"I just gravitated towards African-American culture," Toscano said. "All my friends are African American. So it was just like, I was Mexican at home, but in the streets or at school I was -- I am half black but that's the music; I listen to hip-hop, to black culture, or African-American culture or urban culture. At home we spoke Spanish, we eat Mexican food, celebrate Mexican holidays. I had both growing up, though." 

His life's duality manifested in the evolution of his name. As a prep star at Castro Valley High School, he went by Juan Anderson, lead the Trojans to a 30-2 record and a CIF NorCal Championship berth his senior year, averaging 16.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game. He kept the name at Marquette, where he was a three-year starter with the Eagles. 

"I just always went with Juan Anderson," Toscano said. "I guess cause it was just simpler, and I guess more Americanized. ... On my birth certificate, it's always been Toscano-Anderson. You look in the school book, like the first day of school when they call, they always call Juan Toscano-Anderson." 

Following his college career, it was his Mexican lineage that saved his basketball life. After four years in Marquette, Toscano had zero offers overseas, let alone from the NBA in 2015 after his senior year. Then, on a trip to Charlotte to see his former coach Buzz Williams, he got a call from Mexican national team officials. 

Toscano flew to Mexico City just hours after returning home from Charlotte. By the end of the summer, Toscano was playing in 2015 FIBA Americas Championship, competing against NBA talent like Andrew Wiggins, J.J. Barea and Luis Scola. In a semi-final loss to Argentina, he tallied 10 points, two rebounds and two assists. Offers started pouring in soon after, causing another name change.  

"When I went to Mexico and when I got my passport, I had to play with Toscano because that's how I got my passport," he said. "Toscano was my Mexican name, so that's just what I use. That's what I put on my jersey. And I'm going to start in my career. So everybody in regards to the basketball world, everybody outside of the United States, know me as Juan Toscano." 

Stints in Argentina and Venezuela soon followed. But he flourished in Mexico, leading Fuerza Regia de Monterrey -- a squad in Mexico's top league --to the postseason the last two years. In 2018, he earned MVP honors, averaging 14.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists in 29.8 minutes per game. By 25, he was one of the top players in the league, making six figures and becoming one of the faces of Mexico's basketball scene. 

"They showed me so much love," Toscano said. "They were always offering to cook food for me, invited me over to eat, give me rides places. I didn't have a car out there and stuff, just everything man. They're real good people.

"I'm in airports, like I go on vacation and Cancun and Cabo all the time. So it was like when I was traveling through the airport, and it's not like two or three people stopping me to take pictures. Like, TSA started asking me to take pictures."

All the while, the NBA still remained a dream. As Toscano became a cultural figure in Mexico, he was on the phone with Santa Cruz Warrior Jabari Brown, his longtime friend.

As kids, Brown and Toscano dominated the Bay Area prep scene. Years later, Brown was encouraging his friend to keep his NBA aspirations alive.

Brown was also on another line with Santa Cruz Warriors assistant general manager Ryan Atkinson, who ultimately invited Toscano to a local tryout at the Warriors' former practice facility atop the Oakland Marriott last year. Alongside former Division I standouts, it was Toscano who stood out. Not heralded as a scorer, he was noticed for his energy. 

"I remember walking past and I'm looking," said Aaron Miles, current Warriors assistant and former Santa Cruz Warriors coach. "And I just hear somebody say, "I got ball!, I got ball! No, no, you go over there, and you sitting back!" and I'm like, 'man, okay. I like that.' I couldn't tell if he could shoot or not, but that stood out to me."

While Toscano impressed, he still didn't have a guaranteed spot entering training camp. Worse, he was forgoing six-figure deals in Mexico for a long shot to make Santa Cruz's roster. 

"I remember the first time we talked to him, me and [the Santa Cruz Warriors general manager] Kent [Lacob], we sat down, we talked to them and let them know, listen, ain't nothing promised here," Mile said. "We know you've got option up in Mexico to do things, but ain't nothing promised. And he said, 'Listen, I ain't ask for no handouts.'

"That was a lot of money to turn down. But like [Jabari] said, 'What do you have to lose?' I'm a local there. I have a passport, Mexican passport, so I can always go back. Thank God they love me there. They show me a lot of love. So they would always accept me with open arms. But like I said, man, sometimes you got to bet on yourself." 

Toscano made the team, going from benchwarmer to full-time starter by the end of the season, averaging 7.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. His performance led to a Summer League invite, where his energy caught the eye of the Golden State Warriors and a training-camp invite soon followed. 

[RELATED: Warriors ready for wedding day at new Chase Center]

Growing up in East Oakland, Toscano saw Golden State's evolution from laughingstock to champs. He was in middle school when the "We Believe" Warriors shocked the NBA, and he finished college just as the team ended its 40-year championship drought.

Now, though a long shot to make the roster, he hopes he can be an inspiration to those watching him on the other side of the Bay. 

"I just want to continue to raise the bar for my people, he said. "My people here in Oakland, my people in the Bay area, and the whole country that's behind me. So is it pressure? Yes and no. Maybe I've placed that pressure on myself, but its good pressure, man.

"What's the worst that could happen, that they send me back to Santa Cruz? OK then, I'll keep working, one day hopefully they have a spot in this league. And if not, then it just wasn't meant for me. But if I can inspire one kid or two kids, or inspire multiple kids there, I've done my job. So that gives me a lot of satisfaction in just inspiring people and seeing kids look up to me, and I just want to continue to embrace that role."